Timo Tolkki is a well known and highly revered musician with hundreds of thousand of fans across the world. Best known as the creative force, behind some 17 Stratovarius releases and a member of super groups such as Revolution Renaissance (members of Helloween, Edguy/Avantasia and Thunderstone) and Symfonia (members of Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Angra and Avantasia).
Timo is also highly regarded for his two Avalonalbums, where he really gathered the crème de la crème, of international metal talent including : Michael Kiske (Helloween, UnisonicAvantasia), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe, Kamelot), Rob Rock (Solo, Impelliterri, Avantasia),Russell Allen (Symphony X), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Jens Johansson (Dio, Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Solo) and Alex Holzwarth (Sieges Even, Rhapsody) to participate, receiving great commercial and popular acclaim.
In 2011, Guitar World magazine, included Tolkki in theall-time top 50 list of fastest guitar players in the worldas well as counting him among the 100 most influential ever!
Timo Tolkki in now embarking on a 2017 tour where he will be exclusively performing ‘Songs from his Career’ including Stratovarius favourites “Black Diamond” , “Hunting high and Low” , “Father Time” , “Against the Wind” … This “best of show” should bring back fond memories to all those who were there during Visions of Europe, but will also include a few deeper cuts for good measure..
Joining him on stage will be Keyboard playerMikko Harkin (ex Sonata Arctica, Symfonia) following their collaboration on Symphonia albums; Santtu Lehtiniemi on Bass, a highly skilled professional player and academic; Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody and many others) – one of the most exciting new drummers; and finally vocalist Mike Livas, well known for covering Angra and Queensryche. Timo handpicked Mike having discovered his faithful but also quite passionate renditions of some old Strato favourites.
TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON to release sophomore album “Angels of the Apocalypse” with an amazing cast of singers ! Out in May on Frontiers
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON sophomore album, “Angels of the Apocalypse” on May 16th in Europe and May 20th in North America.
Following the release of the debut album “The Land of New Hope”, the “Metal Opera” was met with critical and fan acclaim, entering the national album charts in seven European countries, including a top 10 entry in Tolkki’s home country, Finland. In August 2013, Tolkki flew to Greece to seek the right inspiration for the follow-up album and upon his return he managed to develop a sound that is even more grandiose and symphonic and yet heavier and darker in direction as compared to the debut album. “In August 2012 I planned to release a Metal Opera that had to be a trilogy. I am following a specific storyboard in a musical format and this time the musical direction is heavier and darker than the previous Avalon” says Tolkki. ”This was deliberate since the Apocalyptic scenes described in the lyrics demanded that”.
As for the players on the album, Tolkki finally managed to reunite the legendary STRATOVARIUS “Dreamspace” lineup, calling Antti Ikonen and Tuomo Lassila to play keyboards and drums respectively. “It was really nice and brought good vibes and freshness to the album,” tells Timo. “Definitely the right move.”
The amazing cast of vocalists appearing this time includes NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen – who takes care of the lead vocals on the first single “Design The Century” – along with Simone Simons (EPICA), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE), David DeFeis (VIRGIN STEELE), Zachary Stevens (ex-SAVATAGE, CIRCLE II CIRCLE), plus Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) – who appears again after contributing to the first album – and the stunning Chilean singer Caterina Nix, who is working on her debut album which is also produced by Tolkki. “Some songs were written with a specific singer in mind, while for some others I decided based on the knowledge that I had on how he or she would perform. I am particularly happy of how this record sounds especially two songs You’ll Bleed Forever and the 10 minute title track are among my favourite ever”, says Tolkki.
Once again the stunning artwork is provided by the French artist Stanis W. Decker and the first pressing of the physical edition will be available in a glossy digipak.
The Nightwish/ReVamp singer Floor Jansen will appear in the leading role on the next album of Timo Tolkki’s Avalon Metal Opera.
Jansen is the main vocalist on the album and sings lead vocals on the first single and promotional video. The release date for both single and the video is planned for March. The recordings are currently taking place in East Sound Studios in Helsinki, Finland. Jansen joins the cast that already includes Epica singer Simone Simons and the reunion of the early Stratovarius. Lineup: Tuomo Lassila on drums (the founder of Stratovarius) and Antti Ikonen on keyboards (the original keyboard player of Stratovarius).
A European Tour is also planned for May 2014, to coincide with the release of the album. More details on the live lineup and dates will be revealed later.
Timo Tolkki comments straight from the studio: “I am right now recording probably the best vocalist I have worked with in my whole career. This has been a jaw dropping experience and I thought I have already seen it all. Floor has proven me wrong. For example in the 10 minute title track of the album, she delivers in my opinion the best vocals of her career so far. This song is probably the biggest sounding of my whole career and Floor simply makes it an astonishing, almost breathtaking experience! We are both surprised of how amazing this has turned out to be and both very happy to hear how amazing it sounds.”
EXCITING CONCEPT ALBUM AVAILABLE NOW VIA FRONTIERS RECORDS
(New York, NY) – Timo Tolkki’s Avalon new metal opera, THE LAND OF NEW HOPE (Frontiers Records), has made impressive album chart debuts in Europe, with several Top 100 album chart bows, including a Top 10 album chart debut in composer Timo Tolkki‘s native Finland. The exciting concept album debut #s are as follows: Finland – #7, Sweden – #42, Switzerland – #59, Norway – #80 and Germany – #90. The album is available digitally and in regular and deluxe physical versions.
THE LAND OF NEW HOPE takes place more than 40 years in the future when most of the planet has been destroyed by natural disasters. The title of the opera refers to the safe haven that a small group of survivors seek. THE LAND OF NEW HOPE is composed by one of the forefathers of the power metal genre, former Stratovarius main songwriter and guitarist, Timo Tolkki. Click here to check out the sultry video for first single “Enshrined In My Memory,” featuring the beautiful Elize Ryd (Amaranthe). Click here to check out the official EPK and click here to access cover art. The album is available in two formats: a standard CD and a deluxe edition featuring a 30-minute documentary on the making-of the album and two videos.
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the digital release today of “Enshrined in my Memory”, the first single off the TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON new Metal Opera “The Land of New Hope”. The song is available for download and legal streaming through all fine shops such as iTunes, Amazon and Spotify all over the World. It is also possible to enjoy the videoclip of the song, shot by Patric Ullaeus (EUROPE, AMARANTHE, KAMELOT etc.):
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON stunning new Metal Opera entitled “The Land of New Hope” on May 17th in Europe and May 21st in North America.
Hailed by fans and press as one of the forefathers of the Power Metal genre with his songwriting for the band STRATOVARIUS in the late 90’s and early 00’s, Timo Tolkki has been silently preparing his musical revenge. Following a call in August 2012 from Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino, Tolkki quickly cancelled all plans and started writing new music following an original concept discussed years ago between the artist and Perugino. The idea was to have a magniloquent metal / rock opera with some cinematic orchestrations to bring back the STRATOVARIUS original sound in a more symphonic and grandiose fashion. “I sort of rediscovered myself musically in the process of making this album”, explains Tolkki. “I wrote the story first and started composing the music after that. My aim was to write memorable songs with good melodies that would support the story. In STRATOVARIUS back in early 90’s, I was one of those who were there in creating the whole Power Metal genre, so it is natural that people may associate this music style to me. But on this album you will find a lot of different dynamics as well with some songs that are fully orchestrated and sound very very big”. Read the rest of this entry »
Greece’s Rock Overdose conducted an interview with the great guitarist Timo Tolkki (ex-STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE, SYMFONIA) about a number of topics including his pending retirement. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:
Rock Overdose: You announced a retirement after the fact that Symfonia would not go on as a band. What was the story behind of that?
Tolkki: “I simply said that in the present market situation, it is not possible to earn an income by being a professional musician. My career spans over 20 years in Stratovarius plus the other works. So it was a simple rational decision. We are going to see more bands from the middle league falling in the next three-five years simply because record companies are dying themselves and they take the last bits there are to take and it’s gonna make the situation even worse. It was the same situation with Revolution Renaissance. Music business is firstly becoming boring and predictable and secondly it is dying.”Rock Overdose: So, I suppose that you will focus to your solo carrier from now on?
Tolkki: “I don’t know man. The same situation applies to a possible solo career. In this moment I am not doing anything and maybe I never will record anything anymore for commercial purpose. We’ll have to see what happens in the next years.”
Rock Overdose: There are some rumors that some old members of Stratovarius will form a group named STRATO. Did they approach you to play with them? Are you thinking to do it?
Tolkki: “Yes its true. We have met many times in the last two years. Me, Tuomo Lassila (the founding member of Stratovarius) and Antti Ikonen went to see ROGER WATERS’ The Wall in Helsinki together. We have talked about making an album called Return To Dreamspace. I wrote to Stratovarius and asked if we could use the name for this one album because there is the founding member of the band involved and who invented the name. We got a vicious letter from the lawyer that we will be sued immediately if we would use the name. It just shows the attitude and it is sad to see that a band that once had life and soul in it, is now a simple franchise. A money making machine except that the industry situation gets to them as well. Joerg Michael decided to leave the band because he did not like the music the band was heading to. Now he plays in some Greek band I think. Stratovarius will not exist anymore in five years.”
The following updates comes from The official Symfonia page: www.symfonia.fi.
We would like to thank all of you who have supported us and our “In Paradisum” in the last months. We have received a very good response both in sales and in reviews for the album.
We are sorry for the lack of news but we have had a good reason for the silence.
We have been waiting for our friend Uli to get better with his hand. We knew we took a risk in waiting, but we considered it best for the band. This is why there has not been any shows so far apart from Helsinki Metal Meeting in February.
Few weeks ago we received more news from Uli’s doctors and they were very bad. They said that it is not likely that he could play drums this year at all. After talking with Uli and in mutual understanding, we agreed to continue Symfonia without him. It is a painful decision for all of us but after Uli told us it is best for us to go on without him and not to wait anymore due to uncertain future with his hand, we decided to do this. And the truth is, we simply cannot wait any longer.
We will do some shows with Alex Landenburg as a substitute drummer and then go straight to the studio to record a follow up to “In Paradisum” for March 2012 release. We already have a good idea how the album will be and we apologize to all those who have been waiting to see us live. Unfortunately due to the impossible circumstances it has not been possible but we will correct this with the next album next year. We don’t feel that it is the right move now to book more shows than these. We feel it is time for a new Symfonia album and then book the shows. We have a lot of time to do this now that the situation is clear with Uli.
The shows are as follows. Additional shows are still possible for Argentina,Chile,Colombia and some other Latin American countries. The agents are booking them in this very moment:
6.7 Helsinki-Tavastia FINLAND
8.7 Sonisphere Festival FRANCE
30.7 Brasilia Porao do Rock Festival BRAZIL
31.7 São Paulo/SP – Citibank Hall BRAZIL
2.8 Porto Alegre/RS – Bar Opiniao BRAZIL
5.8 Teresina/PI – Venue TBA BRAZIL
6.8 Sao Luis/MA – Venue TBA BRAZIL
7.8 Rio de Janeiro/RJ – Fundição Progresso BRAZIL
Ex-STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has confirmed a 2012 release date for the Dreamspace Line-Up reunion album (possibly under the name “Project Strato”?). As well, there will be a re-release of his Classical Variations Vol 1. solo album!
“I have nice news for you. We are planning to celebrate the 30 year existence of Stratovarius with the original Dreamspace line up releasing an album in January 2012.
Classical Variations Vol. 1 will be re-released as remastered version with new album Vol. 2 with bonus DVD including interviews. I will play guitar,bass and sing. Drummer will be John Macaluso. Release will be mid-September.
Symfonia will be active later this year with gigs around Sonisphere France.
Hope you like the news. Happy Easter.”
Stratovarius originally released “Dreamspace” in 1994, it was their 3rd album. It’s tracklist is:
1. “Chasing Shadows”
2. “4th Reich”
3. “Eyes of the World”
4. “Hold on to Your Dream”
5. “Magic Carpet Ride”
6. “We Are the Future”
7. “Tears of Ice”
9. “Reign of Terror”
10. “Thin Ice”
14. “Wings of Tomorrow”
15. “Full Moon” (Japanese bonus track)
Timo Tolkki — Guitars, Vocals
Jari Kainulainen — Bass
Antti Ikonen — Keyboards
Tuomo Lassila — Drums and Percussion
Sami Kuoppamäki — Session drums on tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, and 13
This is the last album to feature Timo Tolkki on vocals before Timo Kotipelto joined the band.
Symfonia. Does that name of the band ring any bells out there yet? Maybe not for everyone as Symfonia is basically a new band on the metal map. But behind Symfonia there are well known names and persons involved in the band. When unveiling names such as Andre Matos, Timo Tolkki, Uli Kusch, Jari Kainulainen and Mikko Harkin it is quite obvious the interest toward this five piece may increase tremendously. The Metal-Rules.com team had an nice and pleasant task to witness the debut show of Symfonia at the Finnish Metal Expo. After the show we were lucky enough to have an opportunity of doing an interesting and in-depth interview with vocalist Andre Matos regarding the birth of Symfonia, Avantasia, and plenty of other topics including Symfonia’s future activities. Ladies and gentleman, the first Symfonia interview here at Metal-Rules.com.
The new Melodic Power Metal super-group SYMFONIA begins recording its debut album on 25.11 at Studio Mega in Sweden. They will start with the drum tracks of the renowned drummer Uli Kusch.
The band will record 12 songs that some journalists, having already heard some of the tracks, have described as a “homecoming”.
SYMFONIA has signed a four album deal with the biggest Japanese Metal&Rock label “Marquee Avalon” for the territory of the entire Asian region, including China. Negotiations with the other territories are still in progress.
SYMFONIA also launches a new website that contains brand new video interviews of Timo Tolkki and Andre Matos.
None of these musicians need an introduction. They are all legends among the melodic metal community. By sheer coincidence, they all found themselves living on the same continent, in Scandinavia. They decided to join forces and express their talents in the form of a new melodic metal project: SYMFONIA.
Honoring the heritage of their previous bands Stratovarius, Helloween, Angra and Sonata Arctica, SYMFONIA continues their superb melodic metal tradition with an incredible musicianship that is a match made in heaven. This is a force that no serious melodic metal fan will be able to ignore.
SYMFONIA will make its World Premiere 18.2 at the Finnish Metal Expo, an International Metal Meeting, where they will take the stage at 11PM in the evening.
The recordings for the debut album of SYMFONIA will start in November at Studio Mega in Sweden, for a Spring 2011 release.
A brand new interview with Timo Tolkki can be read in BW&BK here.
““Everything with Symfonia has been very fast,” Tolkki reveals. “I don’t want to use the word ‘pre-destined’, but after Revolution Renaissance I said, ‘That’s it, I’m opening the flower store…’ (laughs). It’s a weird story. It all started with Andre Matos because someone told me that he’s living in Sweden now, in a village of something like 2,000 people. He comes from Sao Paulo, a city of 25 million people. I began thinking about it, that I had one of the best power metal vocalists practically living next to me. I know the guy very well, and I had nothing to do. I gave him a call and asked if he wanted to write some music, and Andre came to visit me in Helsinki. He spent the week here, went to sauna – where I showed the Brazilian what ‘hot’ really means (laughs) – and we worked on some music.”
Timo Tolkki of Stratovarius Interviewed in March 1999 by David Lee
STRATOVARIUS is the oldest “new” band on the metal scene today. While they have been thrilling throngs of fans across Europe and Japan since the mid-eighties, they have gone virtually unheard of in the U.S. Were it not for the advent of the Internet, only a handful of people Stateside would have ever had the chance to bask in the magnificently brilliant glow of these power metal kings. With less than a single calendar’s worth of days left until the new millennium it is somehow fitting that STRATOVARIUS should finally be allowed to make its mark here via a reborn NOISE RECORDS.
“DESTINY” is a record with a classic power metal feel that may, at first, bring images of Blackmore and Malmsteen’s work but soon sets itself apart in every considerable aspect. The melodies are involved but not standoffish. The musicianship is crisp, powerful and most important, so obviously heartfelt. This is a work of power and passion of epic proportions and has the added feature of being eminently listenable. It is likely that this disc won’t leave your player for weeks at a time. It is just that good.
Complimenting the music is the personableness of the players themselves, in this case Timo Tolkki. Timo is every bit the guitar god in Europe that Blackmore and Malmsteen have been, yet he is so easy to converse with that you could easily feel like you are speaking to an old friend. He doesn’t go in much for the idol worship thing and would rather that people simply concentrate on the music which, in this case, is exceedingly easy. I caught Timo as he was waiting for the bus to take the band to France so that they could begin yet another European tour.